STERLING – Although The Cellular Connection has been open on Lincolnway since Dec. 20, it becomes official today.
The nation’s largest Verizon Wireless retailer will celebrate its presence in Sterling with special events for its grand opening at 4204 E. Lincolnway. Although events are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, food and deals will be offered all day long, store manager Sarah Hoppe said. Store hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today.
“We’ll have food all day – cake, cookies, veggie and deli trays,” Hoppe said. “We’ll also have extra discounts on accessories.”
In addition to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon, gift bags will be given to the first 25 people in attendance. They also can sign up to win prizes and promotional items, including a Bluetooth headset.
Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center will be presented with a $500 check. The family-owned retailer makes a donation to a local charity at all of its grand openings.
The Sterling store is similar to The Cellular Connection at 107 First Ave., in Rock Falls. The success of that store led to the decision to bring the company to Sterling.
“The sister store in Rock Falls is a high-volume producing store,” Hoppe said. “We’re also hoping to bring in Dixon customers from the Sterling site.”
The Sterling store also features what the retailer refers to as the “Rock Star” layout.
“The idea is to make everyone feel special and relaxed,” Hoppe said.
The store is set up to encourage a hands-on shopping experience and is larger than most cellphone stores. The entire back of the store is a lounge area with couches and chairs, where customers can play with devices and accessories. Flat-screen TVs are on for those interested in DISH TV packages.
Accessories have dedicated areas by brand, where you can find Apple, Skullcandy audio, Braven speakers, Fitbit, Powerocks, OtterBox, PureGear and Bluetooth.
Given the company’s close relationship with Verizon, customers can shop for plans, pay their phone bills, and get virus protection and help with basic phone technology problems. Some Comcast services also are available at the stores, and old phones can be recycled.
The company, owned by Moorehead Communications, has a reputation for local philanthropy, based on its Culture of Good initiatives. Twenty Sterling and Rock Falls teachers will receive classroom supplies at both stores at 6 p.m. Sunday.
“Every year, teachers spend an average of $1.3 billion of their own money on school supplies. ... At TCC, we believe teachers deserve more,” CEO and President Scott Moorehead said in a news release.
Before this school year, the Rock Falls store gave 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to local schoolchildren.
The Sterling store employs four full-time workers.
Store hours at The Cellular Connection, 4204 E. Lincolnway in Sterling:
- Monday through Friday - 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday - 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Grand opening - 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today